Rumbling Bald

Land Manager: State of NC, Chimney Rock State Park & CCC for the West Side Boulders

Area rep: Shannon Millsaps

Rumble Video 2019:

Southern exposure, classic lines of all grades and world class bouldering make Rumbling Bald a mandatory part of the winter climbing circuit in the South. From long slab routes to overhung roof cracks, Rumbling Bald has something for everyone. That same southern orientation and an abundance of poison ivy mean that summers at the Bald aren't for climbing. With the new climber's parking lot in place, traffic to the Bald has exploded in recent years. Please be courteous and follow the rules. The CCC owns 6 acres of the West Side boulders (French Maid, Louis Lunge, Shady Grove and more), your support is what made that happen!


(From Brevard), take US Highway 64 east through Hendersonville. Keep going as you cross I-26 and continue until you reach the town of Bat Cave. Here, US 64 joins US 74 as you turn to the right. Proceed to the towns of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. This is a popular tourist route in the summer, so be prepared for slow going. As you pass through Chimney Rock and into Lake Lure, look for Boys Camp Road on your left. If you go across a bridge and see a bathing beach on your left, you've gone too far. Take Boys Camp road about 1.5 miles to the top of a ridge. On your left, look for a signed parking area.

(From Columbia, SC) (I-26 via I-95 for Floridians): Continue on I-26 toward Greenville / Spartanburg. Just after reaching the NC border, look for exit 36, SR 108 to Columbus/Chimney Rock/Lake Lure. Turn right on SR 108 and continue for about 4 miles. When you reach an intersection with SR 9, follow the signs to Lake Lure (left). Continue for another 10 miles until you come down a hill and see Lake Lure. Go left on Highway 64/74/9 for 4 miles, passing a bathing beach and marina on your right. Take Boys Camp Road on your right and follow the directions above.


Thank you NC State Parks for expanding the current parking. If the lot is full, go to the Chimney Rock Village Boulders or Buffalo Creek Boulders, both located nearby and opened by the CCC.

Access notes

Rumbling Bald is partially owned by Chimney Rock State Park, partially owned by the CCC, and partially private land. Some of the climbing and bouldering is now out of private hands and protected, but more remains to be done. The CCC asks that you help out as much as possible with future access. Please follow the simple ideals below.

  • Leave No trace. Pack out what you pack in. Pick up trash from others
  • NO camping at the parking lot or at the crags
  • Be courteous and respectful of non-climbers that you see on the mountain
  • Patronize local shops and restaurants. Let them know that you are a climber. We need to make the locals undestand that climbers and other outdoors types are a valuable source of tourist dollars.
  • Please note that the South side is the only area currently open to climbing
  • Be sure to fill out a climbing permit at the kiosk in the parking lot

2016 Climbing Management Plan

NOTE: this was written in 2016 and much of it is out of date. Use this as a reference and contact the CCC or Chimney Rock State Park with any questions: /sites/default/files/DPR-Approved-CHRO-park%20climbing%20plan%206-16-16-jl%20%281%29.pdf


Visit this link for camping info:


Up to date guides are currently available in local shops and on-line. Bouldering is covered in Chris Dorrity's Rumbling Bald Bouldering Guide and roped routes are in Mike Reardon and Sean Cobourn's Rumbling Bald Rock Climbs